An Amazing Case Of A Stone Baby

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This stone baby was inside the mother’s pelvis for 40 years! Also known as lithopedion, the stone baby had been retained in a 77-year-old woman’s left pelvis, presumably for 40 years.

Lithopedion is derived from the Greek word lithos, meaning stone and paidion, meaning child. The term is used to describe a fetus that has become petrified or stoned. Lithopedian is a rare pregnancy complication that occurs when the fetus either dies or becomes too large to be reabsorbed by the body. This is a rare phenomenon and can be difficult to diagnose because it has different clinical manifestations. The occurrence of lithopedion is very rare in the modern era of medicine. The earliest case of a stone baby was discovered in 1582, in France and since then less than 300 cases of it have been reported.

However, physicians may encounter this rare condition in places where there is limited access to healthcare facilities and because of its difficult to diagnose clinical manifestation. Cases of this have been reported in women aged from 30 years to 100 years. Similarly, the estimated interval of retention of a stone baby is from 4 to 60 years.

Lithopedion generally consists of an ectopic pregnancy in which the fetus dies and cannot be reabsorbed by the mother’s body. The fetus coats in calcium-rich substance and calcifies on the outside as a part of a maternal foreign body reaction. It shields the body of the mother from dead tissue of the fetus and prevents infection.

It’s quite unusual for stone babies to stay undiagnosed for decaded.


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Dr. Aiman Shahab is a dentist with a bachelor’s degree from Dow University of Health Sciences. She is an experienced freelance writer with a demonstrated history of working in the health industry. Skilled in general dentistry, she is currently working as an associate dentist at a private dental clinic in Karachi, freelance content writer and as a part time science instructor with Little Medical School. She has also been an ambassador for PDC in the past from the year 2016 – 2018, and her responsibilities included acting as a representative and volunteer for PDC with an intention to make the dental community of Pakistan more connected and to work for benefiting the underprivileged. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her reading or aimlessly walking around for the sake of exploring. Her future plans include getting a master’s degree in maxillofacial and oral surgery, settled in a metropolitan city of North America.

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